The Court is in a bind: if it follows inertia (which it usually does), it in effect reads the interstate commerce clause out of the Constitution and makes the government under it one effectively unlimited by enumerated powers. If the Court takes the commerce clause seriously, on the other hand, it drives a small, but significant wedge into the federal government’s power to prohibit drugs.
When things get really tough (as this case will be for the Court), the best course is not to try to finesse the situation, but rather simply to follow the law as scrupulously as possible.
Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi have filed an amicus brief opposing the federal government’s violation of federalist principles. By an overreaching abuse of the interestate commerce clause and refusal to modify their stance in the face of several states passing marijuana reform of one sort or another, Congress and the Dept. of Justice have created a situation where hardcore liberals, hardcore conservatives and libertarians are in agreeement. They’ve also created a case that could set precedent severely limiting their powers on many other issues. Good.
On the other hand, it’s definitely interstate commerce when you buy Marijuana at Target.com.